Possibly unwise topic

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NiccoloA
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Possibly unwise topic

Postby NiccoloA » Mon Apr 04, 2011 8:05 pm

I want to write my personal statement on overcoming the adversity of having an alcoholic for a father, but not only alcoholic, criminal/domestic abuser/degenerate gambler/and lousy saxophonist.

Is this possibly a bad topic idea? How would admissions councils look at me?

nigelfrost
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Re: Possibly unwise topic

Postby nigelfrost » Mon Apr 04, 2011 8:08 pm

Do it.

FiveSermon
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Re: Possibly unwise topic

Postby FiveSermon » Mon Apr 04, 2011 8:09 pm

Just don't make it depressing.

skippy1
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Re: Possibly unwise topic

Postby skippy1 » Mon Apr 04, 2011 8:20 pm

Pick one and go for it. The reason I don't recommend addressing all in depth is because it will most likely clutter your essay. Remember that admissions officers spend at most 2-3 min reading the PS. You have to keep them engaged - that's what matters- not necessarily the subject matter.

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cahesu
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Re: Possibly unwise topic

Postby cahesu » Mon Apr 04, 2011 8:25 pm

NiccoloA wrote: lousy saxophonist.


How lousy?

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swc65
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Re: Possibly unwise topic

Postby swc65 » Mon Apr 04, 2011 8:37 pm

I would! just making the adversity part short, plain, and direct (avoid loaded words- be somewhat clinic about it) and focus on the overcoming and the great outcomes.

kublaikahn
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Re: Possibly unwise topic

Postby kublaikahn » Tue Apr 05, 2011 12:13 am

I would consider using this topic as an adversity/obstacles statement rather than a PS. If you do use this as the PS you remove the option to submit those other pieces. I believe in that case your PS will become redundant and therefore a net negative.

Also, consider quickly pivoting the topic from overcoming the adversity to lessons learned from living in a war zone. Talk about how the environment taught you to change your own approach to life. Maybe you can talk about how you forgave your dad, how that taught you to be forgiving in general. Or talk about seeing things in black and white and learning later about your fathers own pain.

You have many angles, but if you just talk about the hardships you faced and the success you made despite that, I think you miss an opportunity. Winners overcome tough odds. Champions know how to not just change their environment, they change themselves.

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Lawquacious
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Re: Possibly unwise topic

Postby Lawquacious » Tue Apr 05, 2011 12:15 am

I think if you can tell the story in a compelling way that somehow ties into your desire to attend law school then it could be a good topic. Otherwise, I would focus more on addressing the general questions of "why law school" and "why this law school," which seem to rightfully underlie a PS.

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lastch2
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Re: Possibly unwise topic

Postby lastch2 » Tue Apr 05, 2011 12:19 am

kublaikahn wrote:I would consider using this topic as an adversity/obstacles statement rather than a PS. If you do use this as the PS you remove the option to submit those other pieces.


this.

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fanmingrui
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Re: Possibly unwise topic

Postby fanmingrui » Tue Apr 05, 2011 12:27 am

cahesu wrote:
NiccoloA wrote: lousy saxophonist.


How lousy?


+1

cool of law
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Re: Possibly unwise topic

Postby cool of law » Tue Apr 05, 2011 12:28 am

if you make it good and it was formative in your life, do it

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bp shinners
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Re: Possibly unwise topic

Postby bp shinners » Tue Apr 05, 2011 11:16 am

The topic is fine; it's the execution that will be tough.

That being said, see what kublaikham had to say about the situation.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Possibly unwise topic

Postby vanwinkle » Tue Apr 05, 2011 11:20 am

NiccoloA wrote:I want to write my personal statement on overcoming the adversity of having an alcoholic for a father, but not only alcoholic, criminal/domestic abuser/degenerate gambler/and lousy saxophonist.

Is this possibly a bad topic idea? How would admissions councils look at me?

There's a certain type of PS, often referred to as the "overcoming adversity" PS, that can work well if written well. I did this successfully, twice. It can work well when done well.

However, you have to do it correctly. Make sure that it ends up being relevant to who you are today, why you want to be a lawyer, etc. I don't mean this directly, you don't need a "this is why I want to be a lawyer" paragraph, but within 2 pages you have to package enough info that the reader will by the end think "this person carries the qualities of a good lawyer". You have to paint a picture of who you are today; if what you've overcome is your best way of doing that, then do it.

It really depends on the writing. Write a draft and ask for feedback.




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